Consultation will help decide Leeds golf course futures



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the public consultation into the future of two council golf courses in Leeds comes to an end today.

Leeds City Council has been seeking the views of residents regarding a proposal to close Gotts Park and Middleton Park golf courses, after efforts to find a possible business case to keep them open were deemed ‘not successful’.

In January 2013, the council deferred a previous decision to close both courses so further options could be explored to see if a new way of delivering the service could be found. Work was also undertaken by the council and representatives of each club to find a suitable business case to keep open both courses, which were making a combined loss of £217,000 per year.

On the day of the consultation closing, residents living near Gotts Park said the closure of the club could leave a gaping hole in the community.

Resident Melanie Bentley said she thought it would be a great shame if the course was lost, adding: “It is one of only a few golf courses where you can go and pay to play golf.”

Alan Walls, chairman of Gotts Park Municipal Golf Club, said: “The uncertainty continues but what I can be certain of is the membership at Gotts Park remain committed to keeping the golf course open.”

Leeds City Council said in its consultation document: “The council continues to face serious budget pressures and has experienced cash funding cuts of £94m from central government between 2010/11 and 2013/14 with a further £81m required by 2015/16. This is a reduction of £175m with further reductions expected in 2016/17 and 2017/18, all in addition to internal budget pressures that the council faces. This has also impacted on the Parks and Countryside service, with a £2.7 million budget reduction between 2010/11 and 2014/15.”

Artist Ruth Spencer Jolly who composed 'European Unison' an ensemble written for 28 pianos, representing the members of the European Union and symbolising Brexit, following a preview of her work at Besbrode Pianos in Leeds. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2017. The composition tells the story of the EU from its birth to Brexit. The ensemble of pianos is a metaphor demonstrating "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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